Mind, body, and soul: how mental health conditions impact people who are HIV+

A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that individuals with mental health diagnoses may be up to 4 times more likely to be HIV+ than the general population. 

HIV activists have long advocated for increased mental health services and for more integrated health care for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). While "opt-out" and universal testing is becoming more common in urgent care and routine clinic settings, it has not increased as noticeably among behavioral health providers.

As earlier studies have demonstrated a correlation between inadequately treated mental health conditions and poorer health outcomes among those living with HIV, these new findings seem to underscore the importance of addressing not just viral load, CD4 count, and opportunistic infections, but also mental health needs as well.